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B.C. Green Games 'environmental action contest' opens

Science World's annual K-12 contest seeks entries, but past winners' inventions and eco-impacts set a high bar

Pinetree Secondary School students entered the B.C. Green Games in 2016 by starting a student-led recycling club.

Courtesy Science World

Pinetree Secondary School students entered the B.C. Green Games in 2016 by starting a student-led recycling club.

Students in British Columbia's elementary and high schools have five weeks left to enter their eco-projects in Science World's annual competition, the B.C. Green Games.

Turning 10 years old this year, previous winners have included a greenhouse-powering compost generator, one school's "upcycling" program to save and re-work waste, a worm composting experiment, and even efforts to take schools off the energy grid altogether.

"We're coming up on 1,000 project submissions from all over B.C.," Science World's CEO Dr. Scott Sampson told Metro. "It's really an environmental action contest, but more importantly it's a digital storytelling program."

And with more and more entrants creating flashy websites, blogs and viral-style online videos as part of that aspect of the competition, "They're bringing a real modern twist to it now" than previous years of the contest, explained B.C. Green Games program specialist Ashley van der Pouw Kraan in a phone interview.

"One of my favourite parts of the whole program is the fact kids get to pick what's important to them and to their communities," she added, "and come up with these original ideas I would have never have thought of the first place.

"They're thinking outside the box."

With registration open until Jan. 15 — and the entries due by March 1 with documentation of how they were created — the idea is to get kids across the province closely involved in hands-on experiments or innovation, even in the case of high schools leading those projects.

"These kids are designing products to do good things in their communities," Sampson said. "That represents the heart of what Science World is about — to help cultivate a thriving future.

"Once these kids are empowered, they're the bosses, they're not just learning anymore but helping push new ideas forward."

B.C. students from Kindergarten to grade 12 can register until Jan. 15, with a teacher sponsor, at B.C. Green Games' website.

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